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Digital Underground, Coldcut and De La Soul Jam The Beat

Mark Dery, Keyboard, March 1991

DIGITAL UNDERGROUND, De La Soul, and Coldcut make musique concrete for boomboxes. These three bands, all on the Tommy Boy label, have achieved, perhaps unwittingly, what few imagined possible: the happy resolution of avant-garde innovation with the randy, raucous, exuberance of black street music. They have managed to sell thousands of records and simultaneously push the envelope of dance music, a cliché-bound, mass-produced genre dominated by producers whose primary concern is the profit margin, not artistic innovation.

Total word count of piece: 5249


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